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OCZ Apex 120GB

OCZ Apex 120GB SSD

Quirky performer

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When we timed how long it took to transfer 2GB of data within the Apex as the Windows drive these figures are 36.9s, 49.9s and 54.8s which is an enormous spread of 18s. When we ran the same test with the Apex as a data drive on the Intel SSD and WD Caviar Black, the range of the three median figures was much tighter at five or six seconds.

Duplicate 2GB on the Drive

OCZ Apex 120GB - 2GB File Copy

Time in Seconds
Shorter bars are better

This may be related to the Sequential Read Speed graph generated by HD Tach as it is as jagged and uneven as any graph we have ever seen.

The strange behaviour of the Apex is smoothed out when you’re transferring data from one drive to another. With the WD Caviar Black as the Windows drive, we were able to do a direct comparison between the Intel and OCZ SSDs and the OCZ Apex came out slightly ahead. During testing we were surprised to find that the smart metal casing of the OCZ reached a consistent temperature of 45°C. By contrast, the plastic casing of the Intel SSD didn’t get hotter than 25°.

You’ll have spotted that those conclusions have been couched in cautious terms as the OCZ Apex SSD is both fast and erratic.

This may be the reason that OCZ has announced the Vertex range of SSDs, which will switch from the JMicron JMF602 controller and will instead use the Indilinx Barefoot IDX22 chip, which has a write speed of 170MB/s and a read speed of 230MB/s.

OCZ Apex 120GB

SATA claws

The four Vertex drives will sell for £99 (30GB), £180 (60GB), £340 (120GB) and £640 (250GB). That makes it hard to recommend the current Apex SSD models when the new and presumably better Vertex series is just around the corner. At least OCZ has added to the downwards pressure in SSD prices.

Verdict

We have mixed feelings about the Apex SSD and sincerely hope that the Vertex will make strides to improve performance. ®

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70%
OCZ Apex 120GB

OCZ Apex 120GB SSD

120GB of solid-state storage – the OCZ's price is tempting but the performance is a bit quirky.
Price: £195 (60GB) £345 (120GB) £667 (250GB) RRP

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